How to Keep Burst Pipes From Busting Your Budget This Winter

128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric, a BBB A+ rated home service company with more than 2,000 five-star reviews online, is offering tips to North Shore area homeowners on the best methods of avoiding frozen pipe damage this winter.

“We get calls every year from homeowners whose pipes have frozen,” said Ryan Williams, general manager of 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric. “Some call with uncertainty because their pipes have actually burst due to the cold. Other homeowners have noticed their pipes are frozen and simply don’t know what to do.”

128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric is offering tips that could help homeowners prevent frozen pipes.
Exposed pipes have the most potential to freeze, according to Williams, which means insulating pipes in a home’s crawl space or attic is essential. The more insulation a home has, the less likely its pipes will freeze. Other simple steps include basic changes in routine, such as leaving the thermostat at a constant temperature — but no lower than 55 degrees — or letting warm water trickle from faucets on particularly cold nights. Williams also suggested opening cabinet doors, which will allow warmer air to circulate around pipes.

“If pipes do freeze, homeowners need to know there are still options,” Williams said. “Frozen pipes don’t automatically equal disaster, and they can be thawed. If you turn on the water and only a trickle comes out, frozen pipes are likely the culprit. It’s best to leave the faucet open because as the water flows through the pipe, it will help melt the ice.”

Other suggestions include:

Applying heat, such as with a hair dryer or a portable space heater. Never use electronics around standing water, and resist the urge to use open flames, such as a blowtorch.
Using heat tape on the impacted areas.
Checking all faucets. If there is one frozen pipe, there may be others.
If pipes have frozen to the point of bursting, turn the water off immediately, Williams said. It’s important to make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is located, so multiple people can be prepared. At this point, a professional should be called in.

“By planning ahead and making adjustments around the house, winter weather doesn’t have to wreak havoc on plumbing or a house,” Williams said. “If a homeowner is willing to invest time and effort, they can avoid frozen pipes and other damage.”

128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric offers video tips for homeowners on simple ways to avoid frozen pipes.